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Rookie Adrian Fernandez (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) set the pace in a damp Moto3™ FP3 at the SHARK Grand Prix de France as the Spaniard left it until his final flying lap to beat Yuki Kunii (Honda Team Asia) and Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) on Saturday morning. However, the dry FP2 times have decided the automatic Q2 qualifiers, so it’s Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) leading the field into qualifying from Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) and Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo).
Overnight rain meant the Le Mans surface was wet for the start of Saturday proceedings, meaning the Moto3™ riders weren’t given the chance to improve their times from Friday afternoon. Fernandez’s pace was just over 12 seconds adrift of the times we saw in FP2, but it was an important session for the competitors with a potentially wet qualifying on the horizon.
But it’s Rodrigo that heads into qualifying at the summit, followed by Binder and Masia – the latter one of the crashers in FP3. Second in the World Championship Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3) is fourth ahead of Deniz Öncü (Red Bull KTM Tech3), followed by Italians Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) and Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team). Ryusei Yamanaka (CarXpert PrüstelGP) was another rider to go down in the treacherous FP3 conditions but heads into Q2 with a P8 to his name, Stefano Nepa (BOE Owlride) and Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech3) close out the top 10.
Jason Dupasquier (CarXpert PrüsetGP) continues to display solid 2021 form to sail into Q2 in P11, he’s just ahead of John McPhee (Petronas Sprinta Racing), Riccardo Rossi (BOE Owlride) and Sergio Garcia (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team) – the latter duo crashing unhurt in FP3 too.
All this means Acosta will have to compete in Q1, and despite another tumble in FP3, Acosta is looking strong in the damp. With the likes of Carlos Tatay (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3), Jeremy Alcoba (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3), Izan Guevara (Gaviota GASGAS Aspar Team), Dennis Foggia (Leopard Racing), Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse) and more rapid riders, Q1 will be unmissable.
Tune into what looks set to be a wet qualifying afternoon at 12:35 local time (GMT+2).
Top 10 combined:
1. Gabriel Rodrigo (Indonesian Racing Gresini Moto3) 1:42.150
2. Darryn Binder (Petronas Sprinta Racing) + 0.126
3. Jaume Masia (Red Bull KTM Ajo) + 0.181
4. Niccolo Antonelli (Avintia Esponsorama Moto3) + 0.337
5. Deniz Oncu (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) + 0.360
6. Andrea Migno (Rivacold Snipers Team) + 0.388
7. Romano Fenati (Sterilgarda Max Racing Team) + 0.403
8. Ryusei Yamanaka (CarXpert Pruestel GP) + 0.456
9. Stefano Nepa (BOE Owlride) + 0.500
10. Ayumu Sasaki (Red Bull KTM Tech 3) + 0.605
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